"Lord of the Flies" from an adult's point of view, starring four willful and confused children.
Holiday from Rules is Lord of the Flies from an adult's point of view. Four willful children wish for anarchy and get transported to a tropical island located somewhere on a sound stage. On the island, there are no rules. Lacking authority, their society cannot endure, and they begin to suffer physically and psychologically. The experiment seems to become a bit sadistic after awhile, and within ten minutes the kids agree with the narrator: "If we're going to have any fun, we've got to make some rules!" Portafilms made a few other films about the consequences of adventurism and disobedience; most seem to rely on "toughlove" rather than compassion.
Four kids against black screen. All are repeating rules: "walk don't run, get back in line, etc."
CU Girl: "Don't you know it's against the rules to leave the school grounds without permission."
Ken Smith sez: Four bratty kids interact with an omniscient narrator, who teleports them to a tropical island where there are no rules. The "island" is a minimalist fifties set, complete with black backdrops and two-dimensional props. As in Lord of the Flies, the little children's anarchistic society quickly breaks down, and they become dirty, hungry, and physically battered. This film confuses "rules" with "conformity" (as do many fifties educational films) but after the kids have been slapped around a little, they're more than willing to see things the narrator's way. "If we're going to have any fun, we've got to make some rules!"
Social guidance Rules Children Manners Behavior Animation Desert islands Games (children) Hide-and-seek Shells Hamsters Sharing Shoes (saddle shoes) Gender roles
Danger Lurks Safety
April 6, 2007 Subject:
and people wonder
why we revolted in the 60s.
February 7, 2006 Subject:
Good lesson for small children
"Holidays for Rules," made in 1959 effectively teaches that generation why rules are important. The one fault I found was that the children were talking too loud as if on a stage without an adequate sound system.
March 27, 2005 Subject:
this film stars four children who are sick of rules, it is produced by the same company that made "Helping Johny Remember" and it was most likely shot in the same dark studio (now however with palmtrees) the film starts with four kids reciting rules and it only get's more bizzare from there. At the climax of the film one of the boys falls down from a palmtree and since they don't have any doctors one girl rips off his shirt to make a cast (one has to wonder how effective a cast made out of a former shirt will be however) then one of the girls proclaims she is going swimming (the water however is filled with "man eating sharks") it's a pretty surreal film and one has to wonder why exactly this was made.
May 11, 2004 Subject:
ÂRules, all the time rules, IÂm sick of them!Â says on of four children clustered on an empty sound stage. But theyÂre not alone. Since this is a nineteen-fifties social guidance film, thereÂs an intrusive adult narrator whoÂs out to teach the kids a lesson. He transports them to a deserted island where there are no rules. The island is the same sound stage with tropical looking props of palm trees and rocks. The children canÂt play games because games have rules. The children fight with each other. A boy climbs up one of the prop trees and hurts his arm. One of the girls rips up his shirt to make a bandage. ÂCanÂt we have a doctor here?Â she asks. Good question. ÂNo,Â says the narrator, Âa doctor would just make rules.Â No child points out the obvious, i.e., to say there are no rules is in itself a rule. This film is similar to another film by Portafilms, ÂHelping Johnny Remember,Â about a boy who doesnÂt fit in, a social sin in the fifties that carried its own particular stigma of being considered Âselfish.Â In this film too, one of the boys says about the other, ÂHeÂs beinÂ selfish!Â ItÂs just as likely that the children would have played imaginatively if left to their own devices. Unfortunately, the kids cave in to the smug narrator who transports them back to their original empty space. This dead, black space doesnÂt say much for what adults have to offer. No wonder these children are bored and cranky.
November 30, 2003 Subject:
"If we are to have any fun, we better have some rules!"
My earlier review of this film sucked, so here's the rewrite.
God the narrator interrupts some kids who are complaining about the rules at school to offer them an imaginary place where there are no rules. So it's off to a "Lord of the Flies" tropical fun spot - or at least a stage with a black backdrop and cardboard cutouts of big ferns. The rules of the English language follow them to this rule-free place, but other than that it's no games because games have rules, and they fight and steal and do unsafe things because people only respect each other and cooperate and care about safety when there is a rule to obey. So no one is having fun. They decide they need rules, lots of rules, but instead of thinking and coming up with the rules they need, they take the easy way out by going back home where they already have rules. Just what any proto dictator wants: Don't think, just obey! Like much of professional child guidance, this film twists the desires of adults (obediance) into the desires of children (fun, friends, safety).
July 23, 2003 Subject:
Another interesting surreal film from Portafilms, who I never heard of til I watched 'Helping Johnny Remember' a few days ago. This one follows the same surreal shooting style as Johnny, but is a lot better told. 4 kids are frustrated by the amount of rules they are faces with from day to day. Again, an off camera narrator badgers the kids and asks what if we made believed that they were on an island and that there were no rules. So they do that and they're on an 'island'. and "Let's just say they're sharks in the water". The kids decide to play 'Follow The Leader' but quickly falls apart when one of them plays unfair. But who's to stop them when they're no rules? A Hide and Seek game falls apart as well. Soon, the kids get hungry, one of them notices a coconut, climbs the tree, gets the coconut but falls off, breaking his arm. There are no doctors. They're on an island! The kid LOOKS to be in bad shape. From there the film gets really uncomfortable and sick minded as it's hard to believe a kids' film can be so harsh and degrading to kids. At one point, one of the kids says she's tired of this, and wants to go swimming (she can't, remember? Sharks!) and says this in SUCH a heartbreaking manner. Soon, the kids have had enough, and the narrator cheerfully realizes the kids have had enough, and transports them back to reality. Boy, this is a rough ride folks. On the acting front, it's a bit up from Helping Johnny Remember (but not by much). Reccomended, as you probably havent seen a social guidance film like this before.